|Hello! Simon and Schuster were kind enough to give me a free copy of this book in return for a review! So here I go!!
I was really excited to read this – my mom is from Quebec, and I live in Montreal now going to school, so I was really looking forward to learning a little bit more about the culture of my new home province. It was little different in this aspect, as it focused on the province in general rather than just Montreal (which is actually one of the things the book mentions, how Quebecois see themselves as villagers). Some things really resonated with me, and others I was very surprised by, and others I straight up disagreed with.
Overall, this is a book for people in finance, or interested in entrepreneurship or in the buying habits of Quebecois. As a reader of mainly fiction, this was VERY outside of my regular genre. I would say that even though I wouldn’t say that I enjoyed the book, there were interesting facts – like how HUGELY popular the Montreal Canadiens are, how they mainly use consensus-based decisions, and value joie de vivre more. The comparisons to the rest of Canada were also really interesting, to see statistically how the Quebecois compared themselves. I thought it was particularly interesting that Quebecois make less but spend more, and are more willing to pay more for food (hello yes I see why I live here now haha all I spend money on is food).
I remember reading that the book argued that Quebec wasn’t racist on the basis that it we (generally better than America and France – both countries that are VERY racist). That did not impress me, and I would say that this is one of the points that I most strongly disagreed with. It also based Quebecois racism on fear of the re-emergence of outward signs of religion, which I think is a huge excuse – there are overt signs of Christianity all over Montreal, and yet there are also overt acts of antisemitism. Call a spade a spade, and then address the actual issue.
As to whether the book is the code to understanding the Quebecois? I don’t think so. It’s so hard to say that you’ve figured out an entire group of people. Although these guys did surveys for like 30 years, even within that period things changed so much. I don’t anyone will ever be able to say they’ve definitively “cracked the Quebec code”, but this book is a cool analysis of patterns that have emerged and buying habits that a group of people may have. So overall, 2.5/5 stars!
Once again, thank you to Simon and Schuster! I really appreciated this opportunity, and I hope that we get to work together again soon!
Have a good day ducks